LNG Ferry First For Japan

Two new vessels will incorporate Wärtsilä solutions

Wärtsilä will provide a complete liquefied natural gas (LNG) package that includes a Wärtsilä 31DF engine, gearbox, and LNGPac storage, supply and control system for two new ferries being built on behalf of Ferry Sunflower.

The ships are being built at Mitsubishi’s Shimonoseki shipyard in Japan, and will be the first LNG-fueled ferries to be built in Japan, the company said. The order with Wärtsilä was booked in the second quarter of 2020.This newbuild project has been adopted for Japan’s energy conservation rating system for coastal ships, a demonstration test program to enhance operational efficiency. The 31DF dual-fuel engine was chosen for these ferries specifically because of its very high efficiency, Wärtsilä said. It also provides safe and continuous gas mode operation, which were other key requirements in the specification.

“Wärtsilä’s vast experience and know-how in LNG solutions for the marine sector is again recognized with this landmark order for the first Japanese built LNG-fueled ferries,” said Keisuke Yasutake, area sales manager, Wärtsilä Japan. “We are able to offer LNG-based products and systems having a proven design and high performance, with a strong reference list that supports our value proposition.”

Ferry Sunflower is a subsidiary of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL).

“MOL is dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of its business activities, and these two ferries are being built in line with that objective. By operating on LNG they will have a greatly reduced carbon footprint, and the high-performance Wärtsilä engine fits our requirements perfectly,” said Makoto Yamaguchi, general manager, Technical Division, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.

The Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki will be capable of carrying approximately 763 passengers, 136 trucks and 100 passenger cars at a speed of 22.5 knots. They are scheduled to commence operations in 2023 on the Osaka – Beppu route.

Wärtsilä has had lengthy and strong relationships with both MOL and Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi Shipyards, for example, has delivered ferries, LNG carriers, and a seismic research vessel all with Wärtsilä engines.

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